Though my patients range from Oscar-winning actresses to soccer moms, I’ve found one thing to be true among all of them: Whether it’s a red carpet appearance or a walk down the aisle, certain moments matter immensely. We all deserve to feel beautiful and confident on these special occasions, and that means taking extra steps to ensure our skin looks its absolute best.
Here, I’ve laid out a general timeline to help get you ready for a big day, be it a wedding, special party, or high school reunion. Disclaimer: Do not try out an assortment of new products or treatments right before an important event, as there’s always the possibility of a negative reaction or sensitivity.
Six Months Before
Schedule an in-depth consultation with your skin care specialist or dermatologist at least six months before an event to allow sufficient time to develop a customized plan.
This is the perfect time to discuss skin-tightening procedures that address laxity and collagen loss, such as Thermage and Ultherapy, as these treatments take three to six months to see results.
At this point, I assess a patient’s sun damage and/or vascular concerns, including visible blood vessels or rosacea. The six-month window allows enough time to work on correcting these issues and treating redness with laser or IPL treatments.
Four Months Before
The right skin care regimen will improve the overall integrity of the skin and make it look radiant, youthful and glow-y. A licensed skin care professional can help determine what products you should be using to achieve your best results. Some of my favorites from SkinMedica®: Lytera® Skin Brightening Complex to give the skin a brighter, more luminous appearance, and Retinol Complex.
Topical products can take up to 12 weeks to affect change in the skin, so I always recommend starting a new routine at least four to six months in advance.
Remember: Starting any new product regimen can lead to temporary, transitional dryness or minor breakouts, so revising your skin care plan with time to spare also gives your skin a chance to acclimate to new products.
Eight Weeks Before
I recommend a good exfoliating treatment such as my favorite mid-level chemical peel, the SkinMedica® Vitalize Peel®.
The Vitalize Peel® features a combination of acids that exfoliate and brighten the skin. This peel results in only about three days of social downtime, including minor visible flaking and peeling.
This is also the perfect time to take a second look at injections and decide if any tweaks are needed to fillers.
Four Weeks Before
I like to combine a dermaplaning procedure and a very superficial chemical peel about four weeks before a big event.
Dermaplaning is a method of exfoliation that uses a blade to remove the upper layer of dead skin cells as well peach fuzz on the face. It leaves the skin so smooth and makes makeup look completely flawless—perfect for pictures!
I immediately follow dermaplaning with an application of a light chemical peel that leaves the skin looking bright, radiant and healthy with virtually zero visible flaking.
One or Two Days Before
If all went well with the dermaplaning/light peel combo, I repeat the procedure right before the big day. The skin looks its most amazing in the one to three days after treatment, so this is the perfect time to get an extra boost of radiance.
Get your beauty rest and make sure to hydrate: Plump up skin cells by drinking plenty of water and use a topical hydrating complex to help fight the effects of stress and alcohol. Also, combat puffiness by avoiding salt-heavy foods.
The Big Day
Relax! Enjoy this day, my friend. You've worked hard and done all the heavy lifting. You are beautiful and deserve all of it!